Mathiesons rescue plan for 240 jobs but 84 axed

More than 240 jobs have been saved after a Scots bakery firm that went into administration was restructured, though scores of other posts have been axed.

Mathiesons, which had 28 shops mainly in central Scotland, called in the administrators on Friday – the second time in two years that the firm had hit financial troubles.

Yesterday, it was announced that part of the firm, which dates back to Victorian times, has been sold to Prestige Bakeries – owned by investment group Pemberton Capital, which last year became the majority owner of Mathiesons.

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Mathiesons’ headquarters and production centre in Larbert is included in the deal, along with eight stores – one of which is at the headquarters site.

While the sale safeguards more than 240 jobs there will be 84 redundancies as the administrator said there was no option but to close the 20 stores that remain unsold.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring for KPMG in Scotland, said: “The early sale of the business is a positive outcome from what has been a difficult period for the company and its staff.

“The business was in a severe degree of distress but the deal represents the best outcome for the company’s creditors.”

As well as supplying its own stores, Mathiesons sold its products to a number of major supermarket chains. The brand dates back to 1872, although the company had been formed after Mathiesons Bakeries Limited went into administration in 2010.

A spokesman for the company blamed the economic climate and “restrained consumer spending” for the decision to appoint administrators.

“The action to close the loss-making outlets in our portfolio is highly regrettable but essential to ensure the survival of the profitable shops and the rest of business. The restructuring puts Mathiesons in a strong position for growth,” he added.

The firm said new funding and management has been put in place to “deliver growth plans which include new product development initiatives in partnership with supermarket customers”.

Nicholas Brainsby, partner at London-based Pemberton Capital, said: “Mathiesons remains a quality business and strong investment opportunity. The immediate purchase of the firm will allow continuity in operations and the restructuring will see a leaner, more competitive business moving forward.”

The eight stores that will remain trading are the one at the company’s Larbert headquarters, together with shops in Camelon, Denny, Edinburgh, Elgin, Falkirk, Grangemouth and Gretna. The stores that are closing include four others in Edinburgh, and sites in Bathgate, Bo’ness, Dunblane, East Kilbride and Stirling.